NAIROBI Kenya Sep 20 – Agriculture Secretary Felix Koskei has directed the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) and Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) to intensify surveillance along the borders to stop the illegal importation of cheap sugar.
Koskei said smuggling of sugar is hurting local industries and subsequent increase of sugar prices and appealed to the authorities to ensure that all smuggled sugar impounded in the county is destroyed and not auctioned.
“We are asking KRA, KPA and sugar board to intensifying their surveillance, we want to see the situation that the daily stocks of in factories normalizes to nine metric tons per day,” he said.
Koskei revealed that the government has suspended importation of sugar from non commerce countries.
“The government is determined to ensure that any smuggled sugar in the country is stopped, all relevant government agencies have been alerted to save the sugar industry from collapsing, “said Koskei.
He said the more officers will be deployed at entry points including the Lunga Lunga border and Shimo in Kwale where a lot of sugar is smuggled from neighbouring country of Tanzania.
He said the daily stock of sugar in factories has increased to 27,000 metric tons up from 9,000 due to the excess of sugar in the market as result of illegal trade.
“The government is focusing ensure that the sugar produced is in the country is consumed to improve the welfare of farmers and to cushion Kenyans against high prices, “said Koskei.
He warned cartels behind the smuggling of sugar in the country that will be dealt with.
“We are going to pursue any unscrupulous dealers behind the businesses be it sugar ,rice, wheat commodities will be apprehended and face the law, all retailers and businessmen should follow the law ,”warned Koskei.
Other measure is to ensure that all factories submit the list of distributors for validation.